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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Traffic"

2 separate projects bring daily lane closures to Route 123 in Tysons

There is a lot of construction this month along Route 123 in Tysons, Virginia, involving two separate projects that are causing lane closures during the day and through the overnight hours.

One of the projects, scheduled to start Monday, Jan. 13, will cause disruptions on Route 123 around the McLean Metro station.

Officials with the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project said crews will be relocating various utilities to deal with impacts caused by Silver Line construction.

Lane closures will take effect daily by the intersection of Route 123 and Old Meadow Road, and “the closures are expected to remain for several more weeks,” project officials said in a statement.

The closures are scheduled for weekdays only starting at 9 a.m. and running through the early afternoon hours.

“Signs and barrels will be used to help direct traffic and minimize impacts,” project officials said. “Drivers should use extreme caution in the areas and allow extra time to travel.”

About a mile west from that spot is where the other Route 123 project is located.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Route 123 bridges that run over Leesburg Pike need to be repaired “to improve safety for drivers and pedestrians and extend the overall life of the bridges.”

That $2.5 million project started earlier in January, with crews planning to resurface the concrete bridge decks and repave Route 123 adjacent to the bridges.

“Work will take place exclusively at night,” VDOT said in a statement.

Lane closures take effect every night, including weekends, at 10 p.m. They are lifted at 5 a.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday.

According to VDOT, the work is scheduled for completion in “late 2020.”


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Fighting Waze and Google, Fairfax Co. finds itself gridlocked over cut-throughs

There are a number of rush-hour turn restrictions in Fairfax County to thwart GPS navigation apps like Waze that are routing drivers through neighborhoods, and more are planned.

At the same time, there’s an effort underway to provide residents with special cut-through permits. These permits would allow drivers to turn into their own neighborhoods during restricted hours.

Earlier this year, the Virginia General Assembly cleared the way for Fairfax to create a residential cut-through permit program.

“The residents are impacted … the same adverse way as the inconsiderate people who are cutting through their neighborhoods. They all have to go out of their way, including the residents. And so this is a beautiful way of solving that problem and creating equity for the people who live in neighborhoods that other people want to cut through,” said John Foust, the Dranesville District supervisor on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Currently Foust’s district has one cut-through restriction, and a second one is planned.

But in a meeting Tuesday, some supervisors on the Transportation Committee expressed skepticism over the proposed ordinance that would create cut-through permits.

“I have a lot of problems with the proposal,” said Supervisor Penny Gross of the Mason District, which currently has two rush-hour restrictions. “The program has worked beautifully … I don’t see anything broken here that needs to be fixed,” she said.

Some supervisors expressed concern that even if they carve out exceptions, the county will continue to be frustrated by GPS-enabled algorithms that will simply divert drivers through other neighborhoods.

“Frankly, things like Waze are going to continue to make this a problem, because this problem will move,” said Supervisor Jeff McKay, Lee District.

The cut-through permit program would provide permits to residents for all vehicles registered at the address. Active duty military, diplomats and full-time students would be also able to apply for a permit with proof of residency.

But some supervisors say it’s wrong that the proposed ordinance would not allow permits for visitors including caregivers, relatives, nonresident owners and service providers.

“What if you have a child care provider; what if you have elderly loved ones living with you and you have elder care?” asked Fairfax County’s Sharon Bulova. “These restrictions would probably cause a problem in the community,” Bulova said.

Supervisors also raised doubts about whether the cut-through permitting program could be properly enforced to the satisfaction of residents. Others raised alarm about the estimated $200,000 cost of creating the program.

There’s still time for both the supervisors and their constituents to weigh in: hearings are expected to be conducted in the spring of 2020.


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Southbound GW Parkway closed for emergency tree work

Both southbound lanes of the George Washington Parkway in Virginia are closed until 4 p.m. Saturday for emergency tree removal.

The National Park Service said southbound lanes will be closed between Route 123 and Spout Run due to the tree work. The WTOP traffic center reports the Clara Barton Parkway/Canal Road and Interstate 66 are good alternatives for inbound travelers.

Drivers should be able to access the GW Parkway from the Capital Beltway in McLean, but will be diverted onto Route 123. Northbound travel on the GW Parkway is not impacted.

For the latest road and traffic conditions, see WTOP’s traffic page or listen to updates every ten minutes online or on the air at 103.5 FM.

WTOP’s Mary de Pompa contributed to this report.


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The first generation of Americans without driver’s licenses

Westlake Legal Group CalifTraffic715 The first generation of Americans without driver’s licenses Traffic The Blog self-driving future Drivers Licenses driverless cars

The pace of implementation may be slower than was once anticipated, but the reality of self-driving vehicles is already upon us. While there have been plenty of snags along the way, including one woman who was struck and killed by an autonomous vehicle in Arizona last year, the technology is moving forward and already being deployed in multiple locations. One of those is a private development in Virginia where low-speed shuttles carry people from large parking lots to their eventual destinations.

At a building site in Reston, there is something small and quiet on the roads alongside big noisy dump trucks: automated shuttles that ferry office workers whose routines have been disrupted by the construction.

The shuttles’ job is to make runs from parking lots that have been shifted farther from people’s offices. But when the new offices, apartments and stores go up on the 36-acre Halley Rise development in Northern Virginia and a Metro station opens nearby, the company that operates them hopes the vehicles will speed people on the first or last mile of their daily commute.

These developments have made me wonder about what the future looks like when this technology is fully ubiquitous. We’re already seeing self-driving Ubers you can summon and shuttles taking large groups of passengers. There are trains with nobody driving them in Japan. And autonomous (probably electric) cars for personal use aren’t far away.

That seems to be the future and it’s not far off. The first generation of Americans who largely will never have or need a driver’s license is likely being born right now. They will live in a world where the ability to drive a car or truck is an oddity, a relic from a time they only see in classic films and television shows.

So is this a good thing? It’s obviously a case of cultural evolution happening at an accelerated pace, particularly in a country like the United States where “car culture” has been part of our makeup for over a century. But like any other form of evolution, it comes at a cost. We will have a country full of people who no longer possess the skill to drive a vehicle. And most likely, roadways full of vehicles that eventually won’t even have steering wheels or pedals allowing a human being to operate them.

You might be wondering why they would need such things once the change takes place. But just as with all the other technological wonders we’ve adapted to, the day may come when the technology shuts down, potentially for a long time. A massive EMP that takes out the satellites and fries most of the power transformers will immediately render all of this technology useless. Various other catastrophic scenarios are possible, if (hopefully) unlikely. How will people travel? More to the point, how will food and other necessities be transported?

We continue to build a future that was something out of a science fiction movie only one generation ago. But we’re also evolving toward a society that will be incapable of caring for itself without all that technology.

The post The first generation of Americans without driver’s licenses appeared first on Hot Air.

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All GW Parkway lanes back open after monthslong sinkhole fix

After more than five months of lane closures to repair a gaping sinkhole, commuters on Northern Virginia’s George Washington Parkway can breathe a little easier: The roadwork is finally done.

One of two northbound lanes of the parkway has been closed since May.

Work near Dead Run has been completed and both northbound lanes are now open to traffic, said the National Park Service in a Friday morning news release.

Repairs included the removal of a decades-old subterranean brick drainage structure and the installation of a new concrete drain pipe, requiring workers to dig down over 50 feet into the earth.

Workers were able to backfill the excavated area with concrete and resurface and repaint the road.

The National Park Service blamed a ruptured stormwater drain for the sinkhole, measuring in at about 10 feet deep and 30 feet long — roughly the size of a bus — before being patched up over the course of several months.

The lane closure has led to heavy backups along the 25-mile-long, heavily-traffic commuter route.

Commuters can still expect some lane closures due to restoration work during off-peak hours throughout the course of several weeks.

Work on targeted repaving at night will continue on the George Washington Memorial and Clara Barton parkways through the fall, according to NPS.


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Emergency road closures on I-66, major delays expected through afternoon rush

Heads up to those who commute on westbound Interstate 66 in Fairfax County: Plan to avoid it all day Wednesday, says the Virginia Department of Transportation.

An emergency work zone between Virginia Route 123 and U.S. Route 50 closes two left lanes for both the morning and afternoon rush hours.Two right lanes get by.

VDOT recommends that drivers should avoid I-66 altogether as major delays are expected, especially for the afternoon commute when westbound traffic will be the heaviest.

Crews are working to fix a “hole/void” that was discovered under the road, according to VDOT.

Stay with WTOP and the WTOP Traffic Center for the latest.


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D.C.: If you’re stuck in traffic today, blame climate activists

Westlake Legal Group CalifTraffic715 D.C.: If you’re stuck in traffic today, blame climate activists washington D.C. Traffic The Blog protest Climate Change beltway

As if Mondays aren’t bad enough already, our friends in Washington, D.C. may have yet another headache to contend with this morning. If you work in or around the District and have to commute to work, you may find some of the highways and surface streets shut down. The climate change protesters who have been up in arms around the world all weekend are still in town. Their stated plan (along with the name of the group organizing this fiasco) is “Shut Down D.C.” And that’s what they hope to do. (WaPo)

A broad coalition of climate activists called “Shut Down D.C.” plans to block streets throughout the nation’s capital during the Monday morning commute to draw attention to climate change.

The protest is timed to coincide with the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York, at which climate activists and leaders, including 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, are slated to speak. It follows a strike across six continents Friday and a youth conference at the United Nations on Saturday.

The traffic shutdown is meant to send a particular message to D.C.’s powerful political elite, according to Liz Butler, an organizer for Shut Down D.C. and vice president of organizing and strategic allegiances for Friends of the Earth.

There’s already a picture circulating of some kid carrying a sign in the middle of the street that reads, “Sorry for the inconvenience. We are trying to save the world.” Do I really need to point out yet again what a monumentally bad strategy this is?

Yes, we’ve been through this before. It plays out the same way whether we’re talking about Black Lives Matter, gun confiscation enthusiasts or any of the other so-called “social justice” groups. And now we have the climate alarmists doing it.

The whole idea of holding a protest, march, etc. is to get your message out, draw attention from members of the public who might not be aware of the issue and hopefully win over more support. Short of drowning people’s kittens and puppies in front of them, I can’t think of many other worse ways to win over hearts and minds than to strand someone in their car in a totally unnecessary traffic jam while advertising the cause you are supporting. Commuting around D.C. (as well as most other major cities) is already a nightmare. It only takes one distracted jerk or unfortunate accident to bring the Beltway grinding to a halt.

People seriously dread this. (One of the main reasons I am extremely grateful to be among those who work from home.) An accidental traffic jam is bad enough. But when commuters see your sign and realize you did this intentionally, the only emotion you will instill in them is hatred. Specifically, hatred of you. Even someone who might have been sympathetic toward the cause of combatting climate change is going to come away from this remembering you and your cause with a seething fury.

March on the side of the roads. Hang banners on the overpasses. Get a permit and gather in the park to get your message out. But “shutting down” the District during a Monday rush hour will produce precisely the opposite of the desired effect. Stop being stupid.

The post D.C.: If you’re stuck in traffic today, blame climate activists appeared first on Hot Air.

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4 dead in tragic Saturday on Maryland, Virginia roads

An unusually deadly weekend on the D.C. region’s roads claimed four lives across suburban Maryland and Virginia in four separate fatal incidents, two of which involved a vehicle leaving the roadways and striking trees.

In addition to two deaths from Saturday crashes along Route 4 in Prince George’s County, and on Brent Town Road in Fauquier County, two more people were killed in other crashes, adding to a tragic 15-hour time span starting early Saturday morning.

It was around 8:30 a.m. Saturday when Prince George’s County saw its second deadly crash of the day, this time on what many consider to be the deadliest road in the region.

Prince George’s County police said two people were standing outside a disabled truck along Route 210/Indian Head Highway, near Wilson Bridge Drive, when they were struck by another vehicle.

One of the two victims who were hit was killed, and the other was hospitalized in critical condition with injuries considered life-threatening.

That evening, police in Fairfax County said a car with four passengers struck a tree on Telegraph Road near Beulah Road, in the vicinity of Kingstowne, around 6 p.m.

‘The crash left one person dead while the other three had what police called minor injuries.

Elsewhere, a serious collision in Anne Arundel County injured four but did not result in immediate loss of life.

On Friday night, four teenagers were traveling on Sands Road through Lothian when their vehicle left the roadway and collided with a pole.

Anne Arundel County police said two people were transported to be treated for injuries considered life threatening, the Capital Gazette reported.

Two others were hospitalized with injuries considered serious, but not life threatening.


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That NYC Uber and Lyft protest missed the point

Westlake Legal Group CalifTraffic715 That NYC Uber and Lyft protest missed the point uber Traffic The Blog protest New York City minimum wage lyft app

This event really didn’t make much of a splash in the national news this week, particularly with all of the Lewandowski circus activities going on, but it’s definitely worth bringing up. Yesterday morning during the rush hour, traffic on FDR Drive on the east side of Manhattan ground to a halt for a couple of hours, totally ruining the commute for thousands of Big Apple residents. The jam was caused by a dozen or more Uber and Lyft drivers who said they were protesting pay and working conditions. The activity was apparently the brainchild of the Independent Drivers Guild, a union representing the gig economy drivers. (CNBC)

Uber and Lyft drivers, protesting over pay and working conditions, brought traffic on the FDR Drive to a nearly dead stop at rush hour Tuesday morning.

Video from Chopper 4 showed a caravan of black cars slowly rolling up the northbound FDR, with a massive line of stalled traffic behind them.

Some cars attempted — at time unsuccessfully — to squeeze past the caravan, which appeared to be dozens strong.

First of all, as I’ve said following many other protests of this type around the country, shutting down a major highway during rush hour is no way to get your point across. All you’re doing is angering everyone stuck in traffic and they will be far less likely to support your cause once they find out who created the mess. And most of those people vote. It’s just not a productive tactic.

But beyond that, the drivers need to understand who and what they are protesting. The union is saying this is about pay, but those drivers very recently got a raise, thanks to new laws passed by the city over the objections of Uber and Lyft. In response, just as they promised to do, Uber and Lyft started restricting the number of drivers that could log onto the app based on demand. That means that a lot of the drivers were unable to pick up riders and earn any money.

But that was the only response the two companies had available. They can’t pay the literally tens of thousands of drivers fifteen dollars per hour to sit around waiting for a rider. Any driver not actively transporting a passenger is costing them money. The only reason they’re being locked out of the app is because of what the city government did.

But the real conflict runs on a deeper level than that. The union and the drivers are claiming that they want either the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission or the Mayor to “do something” to change the gig economy policies and help them. Here’s what they don’t seem to understand. The Commissioners, the City Council and the Mayor have no interest in helping you. Quite the opposite, in fact. They passed those laws to try to drive Uber and Lyft out of business in their city. They’re not trying to save your job or improve it. They’re trying to eliminate it.

If you really want to protest someone, protest the Mayor and the City Council. They’ve been out to remove your line of work for years, and now they’re finally having a serious impact on it.

The post That NYC Uber and Lyft protest missed the point appeared first on Hot Air.

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Site of fatal I-66 crash is 2nd-most incident prone section of the highway

The stretch of Interstate 66 in Virginia where a crash claimed the life of one person and sent several others to the hospital on Saturday is the second-most crash prone stretch of the highway, according to the WTOP Traffic Center incident database.

The roughly 2 1/2 miles between the Fairfax County Parkway and Route 28 has seen 444 reported crashes near or between the two interchanges on I-66 since the beginning of last year. Of those crashes, 283 were reported to have occurred in the westbound lanes while 161 were eastbound.

Only the area between Nutley Street and the Capital Beltway saw more reported incidents with 585 crashes reported in that area in the same time period.

WTOP Traffic Reporter Dave Dildine said that not only are crashes here frequent, the layout of the road means the effect they have on traffic is sizable.

“We often expect to see at least a couple wrecks per day in the westbound lanes as drivers merging from Fairfax County Parkway weave with drivers shifting right to exit at Route 28,” Dildine said.

“Jersey walls for the ongoing express lanes project are blocking much of the right shoulder on this portion of the highway, so when the crashes happen here, they immediately block lanes. Usually, they happen on the right side.”

In 2016, the Virginia Department of Transportation installed lane control signs to manage the flow of traffic and direct drivers to use the right westbound lane beyond Fairfax County Parkway as an exit-only lane onto Route 28 during the morning rush hour. That lane control system was taken apart at the beginning of the 66 Express Lanes project.

WTOP’s Dave Dildine contributed to this report.


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